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Budget 2017: Transport funding announced for the Midlands and the North

Words: Laura Edgar
Congested M6

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced funding for transport in the Midlands and the North of England.

Delivering his Budget in Parliament today (8 March) Hammond noted that the only sustainable way to raise living standards is to improve the UK’s productivity growth.

He said the UK lies behind Germany in productivity growth and behind the G7 average. “And the gap is not closing.”

Investment in training and investment in infrastructure will start to close this gap, he said, with the UK’s productivity challenge “at the very heart of [the government’s] economic plan”.

A key element to raising productivity is the £23 billion of infrastructure innovation investment announced in the Autumn Statement in November 2016, as part of the National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), states the Budget document.

In November, £27 million was allocated to the development of an expressway connecting Oxford and Cambridge.

He has now allocated “£90 million for the North and £23 million for the Midlands from a £220 million fund that addresses pinch points on the national road network” from the fund.

The Department for Transport will shortly announce details of the individual schemes.

The Budget will see £690 million competitively allocated to local authorities to get local transport networks moving, while £490 million will be made available early in autumn 2017.

Other infrastructure funding allocations include:

  • £270 million to keep the UK at the forefront of disruptive technologies like biotech, robotic systems and driverless vehicles;
  • £16 million for a new 5G mobile technology hub; and
  • £200 million for local projects to leverage private sector investment in full-fibre broadband networks.

Hammond also said a Midlands Energy strategy will be published tomorrow (9 March).

The Budget 2017 can be found here (pdf).

Hammond’s speech can be found here.

Read more:

Budget 2017: Further devolution for London

Budget 2017: Reaction to infrastructure announcements

Budget 2017: Reaction to devolution plans

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